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Ski resorts are always putting in new lifts, catering to all those sedentary skiers who want to be whisked uphill with zero effort. And that’s all well and good. But a doff of the cap to Telluride Ski Resort for installing a new set of stairs. That’s right. This week, the Colorado ski area installed two new steel staircases and a bridge on the left shoulder of Palmyra Peak. The new stairs will lie between Gold Hill Chutes 8 and 9—expert terrain opened this season and accessed by hiking from the top of the Revelation Lift.
It’s a move straight out of the Chamonix playbook, where staircases dot the icy bootpacks of the Alps giving skiers access to rowdy sidecountry terrain. “CEO Dave Riley has a vision of opening as much epic terrain as possible,” says Telluride spokesperson Maryhelyn Kirwan. And Riley’s been doing a good job. Since he took the helm, the resort has expanded into Palmyra Peak, Revelation Bowl, and now the Gold Hill Chutes—which offer nearly 2,000 vertical feet of steep, exposed lines. Telluride Lift Master Mechanic Mark Bosse oversaw the installation of the two stairs (measuring 48 and 54 feet) and the 24-foot-long bridge. They were heli-dropped on Wednesday and will be available for use this Saturday, February 27, conditions permitting.